It seems like the school year will go on forever, then all at once it is the last week of school. You have completed the curriculum and the kids are ready for school to be out. To keep their interest during those last days, use the time for activities that culminate the year’s instruction and celebrate the year while keeping the students actively engaged.
Fourth Grade Favorites
Develop a list of class favorites that includes enough categories to involve each member of the class. Choose such things as wackiest dresser, longest hair, funniest laugh and friendliest. Give each of the students a list of the categories, and have them write in one class member for each item. Tally the votes and give out certificates on Class Awards Day.
Focus on oral communication skills on Game Day. Ask each student to bring in a board game from home to share with the class. Set up game stations, allowing for three or four students per station. The students who brought in the games being played will host of the games, giving instructions to students at their station. Rotate the games to give each child a chance to be the host for his or her own game.
Clean Up Day
Designate one of the last days of school as clean up day. Invite your students to wear old clothes to clean the room and their desks or cubbies. Create a list of cleaning or organizational tasks and let the kids sign up for jobs, such as organizing bookshelves, removing items from the bulletin boards and returning borrowed items to other classrooms. Ask the art, music and PE teachers if your students can help them clean up their rooms as well.
Dear Fourth Grader
Review letter-writing skills by having students write a letter to next year’s fourth graders, welcoming them to the classroom. Encourage them to tell about the things to look forward to as well as things that were hard to do. At the beginning of the next school year, place one letter on each new student’s desk as a welcome to fourth grade.
Have students create an autograph book from blank paper. Make a cover from construction paper leaving space for a class picture on the front. On autograph day, invite the students to pass their books around the room and sign each of their classmates’ books. Make enough copies of a class photograph for the cover of each student's booklet.
In preparation for a year-end sale, devise an earning system, perhaps in conjunction with a unit on economics, that allows the students to earn “money” or tickets to spend at the year-end sale. Give tickets for turning in homework on time, helping another student, walking quietly in the hallway, running errands or any other activity that is fitting in your classroom. At the end of the school year, gather up items that you have accumulated throughout the year such as notepads, posters and pocket calendars. Place the merchandise on tables around the room. Give students time to shop, make selections and “buy” items to take home.
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